View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Offensive comment about priests, abuse

"First the priests screwed the little boys, now the bishop is screwing their parents."

That's how Rochester's WHAM radio personality Bob Lonsberry began his February 13 column on his popular website (

Lonsberry was criticizing Bishop Matthew Clark of the Rochester Catholic Diocese for rejecting some efforts to keep open Catholic schools slated for closing. The diocese had announced the closing of some 13 schools as recommended by a commission. Some parents/parishes had tried to organize efforts to keep their schools open - with folks pledging financial support. The Bishop said their efforts would not be enough.

Anyway, Lonsberry is certainly within his rights to criticize that decision. Lots of folks were upset by it. If he had stuck to that, it would have been fine.

But for him to begin his column with such an offensive remark is indefensible.

It is offensive to Catholics, and to the victims of sexual abuse.

Lonsberry has a history of offending people. He was put off the air by WHAM radio once before for comments that were interpreted as racial slurs against former Rochester Mayor William Johnson, an African Americian.

I think he needs to apologize for this latest remark.

And maybe it's time for WHAM officials to have a serious chat with him, as he is a public face of that station.

I complained on Lonsberry's site. I also called and e-mailed WHAM to register a complaint as well.

Maybe if more people did so there will be some action taken - if there hasn't been already.

(I published a version of the above on a blog hosted by our local newspaper.)


Blogger RailRider said...

I dunno, I think that Bob is just trying to be Rochester's Rush or Ann Coulter - he wants to be offensive. Does making a big stink about it help change that or does it just validate him? I really don't know the answer.

4:51 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

That does seem to be what he's about at times.

But he does have a long track record in this town.

He's been fired twice - from the newspaper, and from the radio station. He was brought back after no one else could get his ratings.

6:02 PM  
Blogger RailRider said...

I find it a distressing sign of the times that 'offensive' sells.

I used to live in Rochester and never could stomach Bob.

10:58 AM  

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